‘Together for Impact’: Sweden Assumes Presidency of International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) logo.

March 2, 2022

Sweden assumed the rotating Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) on Tuesday, following the conclusion of Greece’s one-year term.

The motto for the Swedish Presidency, which will run through February 2023, is “Together for Impact — Promoting Holocaust remembrance and combating antisemitism and antigypsyism through cooperation and dialogue.”

Ambassador Ann Bernes will serve as IHRA Chair during the Swedish Presidency, which follows last October’s Malmö International Forum on Holocaust Remembrance and Combating Antisemitism.

“The world has changed since 1998, when Sweden helped found the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, but the IHRA remains just as important today, if not more so,” Ambassador Bernes stated. “Holocaust education, remembrance, and research is dearly needed in a time of increasing Holocaust denial and distortion, antisemitism, antigypsyism, racism, intolerance, and discrimination, that undermine fundamental democratic principles and everyone’s full enjoyment of human rights. Sweden looks forward to leading the IHRA and contributing to the continuous progress and impact of the organization and its member countries.”

“The Presidency will have two major priorities,” she noted. “One will be to follow up on the many important pledges that were made at the Malmö Forum; and the other will be to strengthen the IHRA as an institution, so that it can continue its vital work.”

Swedish Minister for Culture Jeanette Gustafsdotter said, “It is with a great sense of historical responsibility that the Swedish Government assumes the Presidency of the IHRA. Holding the Presidency of the IHRA constitutes a new link in our long chain of efforts to counter the forces that threaten democracy and human rights — efforts that are particularly important today, since these principles are being increasingly challenged.”

IHRA Secretary General Dr. Kathrin Meyer commented, “The IHRA’s work is based in consensus- and coalition-building; it is based in collaboration. This spirit was established at Stockholm over twenty years ago, and it is one that I also found at the Malmö Forum. I am sure it will carry through this year’s Swedish Presidency.”

An online launch event for the Swedish Presidency will be held on Monday, March 7th, hosted by Ambassador Bernes.

In November, the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) hosted a meeting with Swedish government officials to discuss ways to build on the Malmö Forum and support IHRA’s mission.

CAM CEO Sacha Roytman Dratwa said on Tuesday, “I congratulate Sweden on the assumption of the IHRA Presidency and wish Ambassador Ann Bernes and her team great success in this vital and influential role. Sweden has taken important steps to fight antisemitism in recent years, and we at CAM look forward to acting collaboratively to bolster IHRA’s critical work.”

The main theme of Greece’s IHRA Presidency was “Teaching and Learning About the Holocaust.” CAM was privileged to work closely with the Greek Presidency over the past year, and it paid special tribute to Greek IHRA Presidency Chair Ambassador Chris J. Lazaris for his commitment to combating all forms of contemporary antisemitism at an event ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Watch a video of Greek leaders reflecting on their country’s IHRA Presidency here: